In a bid to protect consumers from unfair charges, hotels & restaurants can no longer levy service charge : Ministry of Commerce
Read the Full Guidelines here
According to the Union Ministry, “In a bid to protect consumers from unfair charges, hotels & restaurants can no longer levy service charges automatically or by default in the food bill. The government has barred hotels or restaurants from levying service charges automatically or by default on the food bill. After this, the customers can file complaints in case of any violation.
Minister of Commerce & Industry, Piyush Goyal said, “Amid rising complaints, the CCPA has issued guidelines for preventing unfair trade practices and violations of consumer rights with regard to levying of service charges. According to the guidelines, “No hotels or restaurants shall add service charge automatically or by default in the bill.” There should not be any collection of service charges by any other name. The hotels must inform the consumer that the service charge is voluntary, optional, and at the consumer’s discretion.
Here is the full list of guidelines
• No hotels or restaurants shall add service charges automatically or by default in the bill.
• There should not be any collection of service charges by any other name
• No hotel or restaurant can force a consumer to pay a service charge.
• Service charge is voluntary, optional, and at the consumer’s discretion.
• No restriction on entry or provision of services based on the collection of service charge shall be imposed on consumers
• The service charge cannot be collected by adding it along with the food bill and levying GST on the total amount.
• If any consumer finds that a hotel or restaurant is levying a service charge in violation of the guidelines, s/he can request the concerned establishment to remove it from the bill amount.
• Consumers can lodge a complaint on the National Consumer Helpline (NCH), which works as an alternate dispute redressal mechanism at the pre-litigation level, by calling 1915 or through the NCH mobile app.
• They can also file complaints with the Consumer Commission.